Media Matters - March 30, 2008

Ishmael Reed, poet, essaying, and novelist

This week our guest is Ishmael Reed, the poet, essayist and novelist. Since 1990 he has edited Konch magazine, available online since 1998, a "publication for the rest of us" that concentrates on "publishing writers from the world over who address the important issues of our time."

Reed's best-known works include The Free-Lance Pallbearers (1967, Reed's first novel), Yellow Back Radio Broke-Down (1969), Mumbo Jumbo (1972), Flight to Canada (1976), The Last Days of Louisiana Red (1974), Reckless Eyeballing (1986), and Japanese By Spring (1993). He has published more than a dozen books, including nine novels, four collections of poetry, six plays, four collections of essays, and one libretto. His New and Collected Poems, 1964-2007, received the Commonwealth Club of Califfornia's Gold Medal.

Media Matters - March 23, 2008

FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein on regulating the media industry

Our guest was FCC commissioner Jonathan Adelstein. Adelstein has been with the FCC since 2002. Before joining the FCC, Adelstein served for fifteen years as a staff member in the United States Senate. For the last seven years, he was a senior legislative aide to United States Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD), where he advised Senator Daschle on telecommunications, financial services, transportation and other key issues.

A life-long public servant, Adelstein has dedicated his career to fighting for the public interest. As a Commissioner, his approach is guided by the key principle that the public interest means securing access to communications for everyone, including those the market may leave behind.

Adelstein is a particularly strong advocate for media diversity and localism, and works diligently to encourage increased voices on the airwaves to support a well-informed citizenry. He has worked to promote access to telecommunications and media outlets by minorities, rural and low-income consumers, people with disabilities, and non- English speakers.

Media Matters - March 16, 2008

The Economy and Public Policy, with Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy

This week our guest is Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. Weisbrot received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan. He is co-author, with Dean Baker, of Social Security: The Phony Crisis (University of Chicago Press, 2000), and has written numerous research papers on economic policy.

He writes a column on economic and policy issues that is distributed to over 550 newspapers by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. His opinion pieces have appeared in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, and most major U.S. newspapers. He appears regularly on national and local television and radio programs. He is also president of Just Foreign Policy.

Media Matters - March 09, 2008

Greg Mitchell, author of So Wrong for So Long

This week our guest is Greg Mitchell, the editor of Editor & Publisher. His latest book is called So Wrong for So Long: How the Press, the Pundits -- and the President -- Failed in Iraq (Union Square Press). It includes a preface by Bruce Springsteen and a foreword by war reporter Joseph L.Galloway.

Over the past five years, Mitchell's weekly column "Pressing Issues," has intensely scrutinized the coverage of the Iraq war, the media's views of the credibility of the Bush Administration, and such related topics as 9/11, the war in Afghanistan, and the CIA Leak Case. Now, as the war in Iraq reaches its 5th anniversary, this first-ever collection, with more than 75 of Mitchell's columns, provides a unique history of the conflict, from the hyped WMD stories to the "surge."

Mitchell has written eight books, including Hiroshima in America (with Robert Jay Lifton) and The Campaign of the Century: Upton Sinclair's Race for Governor of California and the Birth of Media Politics, and his articles have appeared in dozens of leading newspapers and magazines.

Media Matters - March 02, 2008

Filmmaker Alex Gibney

This week our guest is Alex Gibney, 2008 Academy Award winner for Best Documentary Feature for his film Taxi to the Dark Side. Gibney received his first Academy Award nomination for "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room," which he wrote, produced and directed. Taxi to the Dark Side, which was filmed in Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay, and various U.S. locations, is Gibney's directorial follow-up to "Enron" and made its world premiere at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary.

At the Sundance Film Festival this year, Gibney premiered another documentary feature he directed about Hunter Thomspon entitled "Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson" and which will be released theatrically by Magnolia Pictures.

Taxi to the Dark Side is an investigation into the reckless abuse of power by the Bush Administration. By probing the homicide of an innocent taxi driver at the Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan, the film exposes a worldwide policy of detention and interrogation that condones torture and the abrogation of human rights.

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